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Deuteronomy 32:1

    Deuteronomy 32:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Give ear, O you heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Give ear, O heavens, to my voice; let the earth take note of the words of my mouth:

    Webster's Revision

    Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

    World English Bible

    Give ear, you heavens, and I will speak. Let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; And let the earth hear the words of my mouth:

    Definitions for Deuteronomy 32:1

    Ear - To work, till, or plough the ground.

    Clarke's Commentary on Deuteronomy 32:1

    On the inimitable excellence of this ode much has been written by commentators, critics, and poets - and it is allowed by the best judges to contain a specimen of almost every species of excellence in composition. It is so thoroughly poetic that even the dull Jews themselves found they could not write it in the prose form; and hence it is distinguished as poetry in every Hebrew Bible by being written in its own hemistichs or short half lines, which is the general form of the Hebrew poetry; and were it translated in the same way it would be more easily understood. The song itself has suffered both by transcribers and translators, the former having mistaken some letters in different places, and made wrong combinations of them in others. As to the translators, most of them have followed their own fancy, from good Mr. Ainsworth, who ruined it by the most inanimate rhyming version, to certain latter poets, who have cast it unhallowedly into a European mould. See the observations at the end of the chapter, Deuteronomy 32:52.

    Give ear, O ye heavens - Let angels and men hear, and let this testimony of God be registered both in heaven and earth. Heaven and earth are appealed to as permanent witnesses.

    Deuteronomy 32:1.This, in the simple yet strong oratorical style of Moses, is, "I call heaven and earth to witness against thee this day; life and death have I set before thee; the blessing and the curse: choose now life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed." Deuteronomy 30:19. The poetical style, by an apostrophe, sets the personification in a much stronger light.

    Hath spoken "That speaketh" - I render it in the present time, pointing it דבר dober. There seems to be an impropriety in demanding attention to a speech already delivered. But the present reading may stand, as the prophet may be here understood to declare to the people what the Lord had first spoken to him.

    I have nourished - The Septuagint have εγεννησα, "I have begotten." Instead of גדלתי giddalti, they read ילדתי yaladti; the word little differing from the other, and perhaps more proper; which the Chaldee likewise seems to favor; "vocavi eos filios." See Exodus 4:22; Jeremiah 31:9.

    Barnes' Notes on Deuteronomy 32:1

    Song of Moses

    If Deuteronomy 32:1-3 be regarded as the introduction, and Deuteronomy 32:43 as the conclusion, the main contents of the song may be grouped under three heads, namely,

    -1Deu 32:4-18, the faithfulness of God, the faithlessness of Israel;

    -2Deu 32:19-33, the chastisement and the need of its infliction by God;

    -3Deu 32:34-42, God's compassion upon the low and humbled state of His people.

    The Song differs signally in diction and idiom from the preceding chapters; just as a lyrical passage is conceived in modes of thought wholly unlike those which belong to narrative or exhortation, and is uttered in different phraseology.

    There are, however, in the Song numerous coincidences both in thoughts and words with other parts of the Pentateuch, and especially with Deuteronomy; while the resemblances between it and Psalm 90:"A Prayer of Moses," have been rightly regarded as important.

    The Song has reference to a state of things which did not ensue until long after the days of Moses. In this it resembles other parts of Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch which no less distinctly contemplate an apostasy (e. g. Deuteronomy 28:15; Leviticus 26:14), and describe it in general terms. If once we admit the possibility that Moses might foresee the future apostasy of Israel, it is scarcely possible to conceive how such foresight could be turned to better account by him than by the writing of this Song. Exhibiting as it does God's preventing mercies, His people's faithlessness and ingratitude, God's consequent judgments, and the final and complete triumph of the divine counsels of grace, it forms the summary of all later Old Testament prophecies, and gives as it were the framework upon which they are laid out. Here as elsewhere the Pentateuch presents itself as the foundation of the religious life of Israel in after times. The currency of the Song would be a standing protest against apostasy; a protest which might well check waverers, and warn the faithful that the revolt of others was neither unforeseen nor unprovided for by Him in whom they trusted.

    That this Ode must on every ground take the very first rank in Hebrew poetry is universally allowed.

    Deuteronomy 32:1-3

    Introduction. Heaven and earth are here invoked, as elsewhere (see the marginal references), in order to impress on the hearers the importance of what is to follow.

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